What is Reciprocity?
The root of the word reciprocity connotes moving forward and backward, back and forth. It brings to mind a rocking motion, like a pendulum or a baby in its cradle.
When situations and relationships have become as imbalanced as they have, restoring reciprocity seems nearly impossible. Those benefiting from positions of power and privilege are called upon to let go and allow the pendulum to swing.
As we birth a new earth, we embody the mother principle in our labor. We give and we take as needed in order to maintain or restore balance.
As we build new institutions around plant medicine and advancements in the science of consciousness, now is the right time–possibly the only time–to make reciprocity a fundamental principle.
When we speak of reciprocity in the psychedelic space, the foundation we construct rests on indigenous wisdom.
Therefore, we call upon all psychedelic enterprises to make indigenous reciprocity a priority.
One way to prioritize indigenous reciprocity is to reach out to indigenous governments and indigenous business leaders. End results would be indigenous seats on boards of directors, formal strategic partnerships, and reciprocal real estate development and land-use agreements.
Another way to make indigenous reciprocity a reality is to develop therapeutic interventions with indigenous practitioners. We can also make sure to embed indigenous ontology in clinical psychology.
Given human history, we cannot trust each other.
Therefore, reciprocity must always begin with rugged self-reliance. Self-reliance starts with individual cognitive liberty, a cornerstone of psychedelic interventions. We should never fully surrender our psyche to any therapist or any institution.
Self-reliance manifests also on meso- and macro-levels in our families, communities, and broader social, political, and economic systems. For instance, sovereignty equals self-reliance. Even if we eventually agree to move past nationalism and tribalism, we must respect the sovereignty of others if we are to foster reciprocal relationships.
Balancing self-reliance with interdependence becomes an imperative in the new earth. We must embrace the paradox of needing to trust one another knowing that eventually we will let each other, and ourselves, down.
Taking responsibility for ourselves first, then responding to the needs of others; filling our own cup first and filling others' cups with the overflow: this is where reciprocity becomes stable and fruitful. Reciprocity reflects the simple tenet of putting on your oxygen mask before assisting your child.
Psychedelic institutions and enterprises are like children, newly born, ready to be imprinted upon. If you are a psychedelic practitioner, entrepreneur, or researcher, consider how you can build reciprocity into your systems at this critical early stage.
Back and forth motion, when gentle, slow, and smooth, soothes a baby. Far better to engage in reciprocal relationships now than allow human nature to take its course.
Reciprocity and Plant Medicine
In the psychedelics space, only a few organizations have reciprocity built into their mission, vision, values, or practices. Chacruna is one.
Reciprocity seems to be surfacing in plant medicine conversations and in summits like the Entheonation Plant Spirit Summit.
Reciprocity and Reparations
Reparations restore imbalances in social, economic, and political systems. The root of reparation is the act of repairing, restoring, returning a system to equilibrium.
Because they are emblems of the back-and-forth motion of reciprocity, reparations are requisite for birthing the new earth.
As with indigenous reciprocity, reparations need to be embedded into emerging psychedelic organizations, which are at risk of operating as dominant culture institutions.
Organizations like Black People Trip restore balance to the white-dominated psychedelic space.
We need more organizations like Black People Trip. We need to provide more media attention and funding to black-owned psychedelic businesses. We need to solicit black wisdom to develop treatment protocols, interventions, research methods, and ontologies.
In the interests of reciprocity, we call upon the deep-pocketed firms in the space to form strategic partnerships with entities committed to reparations.
The creation of a meta-fund in the psychedelic space might help provide the resources required for the new earth we envision.